Photos courtesy of Simon Bryant Cornwall skipper Ben Hilton holds Tamar Cup aloft, TASC Chairman Phil Trevarton present Martin Rice with man-of-the-match award.
CORNWALL comfortably if unspectacularly retained the Tamar Cup against old foes Devon on a damp misty evening in Plymouth.
Cornwall were forced into making some late changes for the game with prop forward Darren Jacques (Redruth) not recovered from an ankle injury and flanker Tom Rawlings (Launceston) also missing through injury.
Martin Rice (Launceston) came into the front row and enjoyed a fine game capped by scoring Cornwall’s second try of the game during the second half. His performance on the night deservedly saw him named Trelawny’s Army man-of-the-match and pick up the award in memory of our late Chairman and much respected local rugby journalist Paul Bawden.
There was a good contingent up from St Austell RFC there to cheer on their boys in the Cornwall squad fly-half Matt Shepherd and replacement lock Adam Pearce. Saints have enjoyed a fine season and this was a fitting acknowledgement to the club.
Cornwall dominated opening period of the game but couldn’t turn possession into points.
Eventually Cornwall’s domination paid off as they were awarded a penalty from a scrum which saw Shepherd open Cornwall’ s account after 13 minutes.
Cornwall then began to string a few moves together with one such move involving centre Lewis Paterson forwards Chris Fuca, Damien Cook and Josh Lord just seeing the final pass go astray.
On the half-hour mark another flowing Cornish move saw full back Jo Parma heading for the corner only for Saltash’s Max Venables to save the day for Devon.
Pressure continued to mount on the Devon line with Paterson’s long pass reaching the onrushing Tom Notman on the wing, the Reds flyer finished in some style from 20 meters out in the marquee corner of the ground. Shepherd added the extras with a fine conversion from the touchline to put Cornwall 10-0 up.
Devon had a period of pressure prior to half-time, which resulted in Cornwall’s Richard Bright being yellow carded for a professional foul.
During the second half Cornwall despite numerous changes continued to dominate the game. It was good to see former Cornish Pirate and now of Plymouth Albion Rhodri McAtee come on his pace certainly injected some impetus into Cornwall’s play.
Cornwall got a lineout near the Devon line which Chris Fuca took to set up a driving maul which saw Rice power over for Cornwall’s second try. Shepherd maintained his fine kicking record with the conversion to make it 17-0 and the game was safe for the Black and Golds.
The biggest roar of the night came from the St Austell contingent as lock Adam Pearce made his county debut on 71 minutes.
Devon looked to salvage some pride with a score but Tom Goodman was denied by a great tap tackle by Jamie Salter, whilst Richard Friend was hauled down close to the line, Cornwall cleared the danger and saw out the rest of the game despite losing Paterson to a late yellow card for a professional foul.
Cornwall skipper Ben Hilton proudly held aloft the Tamar Cup having received the trophy from Devon RFU President Maureen Jackson.
Devon 0 pts
Cornwall 17 pts
Tries – Notman, Rice, Penalty – Shepherd, Conversions – Shepherd (2)
Yellow Cards – Bright (34), Paterson (80)
Cornwall: J Parma (Camborne), R Bright, L Paterson, N Webber (all Cornish All Blacks), T Notman (Redruth), S Perry (Barnstaple), M Shepherd (St Austell); M Rice (Cornish All Blacks), R Brown, C Williams, D Cook (both Redruth), B Hilton (Cornish All Blacks, capt), C Fuca (Redruth), J Goldsworthy (Camborne), J Lord (All Blacks).
Replacements (all used): L Vinnicombe (Redruth), B Drew (Redruth), J Salter (Plymouth Albion), M Hearn (Camborne), R McAtee (Plymouth Albion), A Pearce (St Austell), A Hosking (Redruth), L Duke, BJ Chapman, T Hurdwell (all Cornish All Blacks).
Referee: Mr D Parrett
Trelawny’s Army Paul Bawden Memorial Cornwall man-of-the-match: Martin Rice (Cornish All Blacks)
Footnote: Felt sorry for the poor maid who’s the PA announcer at Albion. Some rascal (no names) told her that Cornwall’s fly-half was non other than Cornwall Team Secretary Ewart White! At one point Ewart was in line for the man-of-the-match award!!!
Eventually the poor maid had to concede that the information she had been given was an error and that Matt Shepherd was in fact Cornwall’s fly-half. The “culprit”, member of a well known rugby family from Camborne, was last seen wearing a rather natty hat with pint in hand!!